Unmet medical need for dengue fever treatment
Dengue—a mosquito-borne viral disease that has dramatically spread across multiple tropical regions of the world1—is a serious global health burden. An estimated 3.9 billion people worldwide are at risk of infection with dengue viruses,2 and a recent estimate indicates there are 390 million dengue infections per year, of which 96 million manifest clinically (with any severity of disease).3 Even mild dengue may progress to a hemorrhagic form and cause death.
The total annual global cost of dengue illness has been estimated at US$8.9 billion during 2013.4 Potential drug sales, assuming 100% market share, are estimated to be $338 million per annum.5 The current standard of care is fever and pain relief and transfer to ICUs. Dengue fever vaccines are coming, but supply constraints, cost, and other factors may limit their impact. Dengue drugs would complement the use of dengue vaccines by public health systems, provide relief to dengue patients, and substantially reduce economic costs associated with the disease.
References: 1. Fact sheet: dengue and severe dengue. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; April 2017. 2. Brady OJ, Gething PW, Bhatt S, et al. Refining the global spatial limits of dengue virus transmission by evidence-based consensus. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012;6(8): e1760. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0001760 3. Bhatt S, Gething PW, Brady OJ, et al. The global distribution and burden of dengue. Nature. 2013;496(7446):504-507. doi:10.1038/nature12060 4. Shepard DS, Undurraga EA, Halasa YA, Stanaway JD. The global economic burden of dengue: a systematic analysis. Lancet Infect Dis. 2016;16(8):935-941. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(16)00146-8 5. Dow G, Mora E. The maximum potential market for dengue drugs V 1.0. Antiviral Res. 2012;96(2):203-212. doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2012.08.011 6. World Mosquito Program. Fact sheet: dengue. Melbourne, Australia: World Mosquito Program; 2020.